Friday, July 18, 2014

The Week in Music, part 2: James, Lady Antebellum, Train, Tom Petty, The Drums, American Hi-Fi

Here is the second part of my roundup featuring music news items I received this past week... 

Manchester, UK band James' new album La Petite Mort, which hits stores nationwide and all digital platforms on Sept. 16 via BMG.
It was produced by Max Dingel (Killers, Muse, White Lies) and written by the band, with chief lyricist and frontman Tim Booth. Despite the uplifting sound, the release was recorded in the months following the passing of Tim Booth’s mother and his best friend.

Many of the songs deal with facing mortality (hence the album title), but also deal with the realness of life (and death), with a lyrical poignancy, wit and a charm that has become their trademark.
The current lead single "Moving On" has an animated short film that serves as the video and was created by esteemed BAFTA award-winning animator/director Ainslee Henderson.

“My mother's death was clearly a birth of some kind and that description caught Ainslie's imagination” explains Booth.

The group recently embarked on an extensive European tour, performing at all the leading festivals and kicked things off with a huge homecoming gig at Manchester's Summer in the City.

Formed in 1982 and first signed to the infamous Factory Records, James' career includes 12 studio albums and 12 millions records sold worldwide. Countless notable musicians speak highly of the their artistry and songwriting, including Michael Stipe, Chris Martin, Noel Gallagher and Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry who claims their 1994 release Wah Wah "changed how I listened to music. And expanded my idea of what collective/group artistic processes could be."
Critically acclaimed Brian Eno produced album Laid was their highest charting release in the U.S., debuting in the Billboard Top 200 in 1993.

James are: Tim Booth (vocals), Jim Glennie (bass), Larry Gott (guitars), Saul Davies (guitar, violin), Mark Hunter (keyboards), David Baynton-Power (drums) and Andy Diagram (trumpet).

Superstar country trio Lady Antebellum's fifth studio album 747 will arrive in stores on Sept. 30. The album’s lead track “Bartender” has become one of their fastest rising singles. Nathan Chapman co-produced the 11-song disc with Lady A for the Capitol Records Nashville release.

“We unanimously knew that our album title had to be '747',” said Lady A’s Hillary Scott. “The track itself has this pushing, driving spirit about it that sums up our attitude right now. We are pushing ourselves as a band and as songwriters…taking ourselves out of our comfort zone and not taking ourselves too seriously. There's an urgency and an energy to it that we've never released before."

“We are so ready to get this music out,” continued Charles Kelley. “To get the reaction we’ve gotten from ‘Bartender’ has only made us more fired up about the rest of these songs!”

“We had the opportunity to write with some new songwriters and really dig for outside songs that were songs we wish we’d written,” added Dave Haywood. “As we took them into the studio, we changed our approach and challenged ourselves to try some new things that were outside of what we’d done before."

Track list:

1. Long Stretch of Love
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Josh Kear)
2. Bartender
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Rodney Clawson)
3. Lie With Me
(Marc Beeson, Abe Stoklasa)
4. Freestyle
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Shane McAnally)
5. Down South
(Stephanie Chapman, Christian Rada, Dave Thomson)
6. One Great Mystery
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Josh Kear)
7. Sounded Good At The Time
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
8. She Is
(Ben Rector, Jeff Pardo)
9. Damn You Seventeen
(Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally)
10. 747
(Gordie Sampson, Caitlyn Smith, Cary Barlowe)
11. Just A Girl
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Shane McAnally)

Three-time Grammy winning band Train’s upcoming 7th studio album Bulletproof Picasso, is available for pre-order now at iTunes in advance of its Sept. 16 release date.

The album’s first single, “Angel In Blue Jeans” is Top 15 at Triple A and Adult Top 40 radio, joining the
San Francisco pop/rock band’s previous hit singles throughout a two decade career.

An evocative video for the new song premiered on VEVO featuring actor Danny Trejo, who starred in the Robert Rodriguez-helmed ‘Mariachi-style’ sagas Machete and Dusk Til Dawn, among others. Hannah Simone from the hit TV show ‘New Girl’ is also featured in the clip.

Bulletproof Picasso was produced by previous Train collaborator Butch Walker. 

Frontman Pat Monahan says, “I’ve always wanted to emotionally connect with people through the songs. But I also want to get into people’s lives with this album. We’re very excited about 'Bulletproof Picasso' and we’re looking forward to performing some of the new songs for all our fans.”

Train will be showcasing new tracks in celebration of the album’s upcoming release in September with shows in Los Angeles, New York, and their hometown of San Francisco among others. Several summer festival and one-off dates have also been unveiled (dates below).

The band will also host the second annual Sail Across the Sun Cruise next February 13-17, 2015. The follow up event to last year’s sold out food, music & wine festival at sea will feature comedian Michael Ian Black, chefs Chris Cosentino and Ryan Scott, and reggae legends The Wailers. Tickets are on sale now and more info is available at

Track listing:

1. Cadillac, Cadillac
2. Bulletproof Picasso
3. Angel In Blue Jeans
4. Give It All
5. Wonder What You're Doing For The Rest Of Your Life
6. Son Of A Prison Guard
7. Just A Memory
8. I'm Drinkin' Tonight
9. I Will Remember
10. The Bridge
11. Baby, Happy Birthday
12. Don't Grow Up So Fast

Tour dates:

7/25 Stateline, NV Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys
8/7 Sturgis, SD Sturgis Buffalo Chip
8/10 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/16 Stafford, UK V Festival
8/17 Chelmsford, UK V Festival
8/22 Highland Park, IL Ravinia Festival
8/23 Highland Park, IL Ravinia Festival
8/28 Gilford, NH Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook
8/29 Lenox, MA Tanglewood
8/30 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Hotel and Casino

Record Release Shows:

9/17 Los Angeles, CA Pantages Theatre
9/18 Los Angeles, CA Pantages Theatre
9/21 San Francisco, CA The Masonic
9/22 San Francisco, CA The Masonic
9/25 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall

Platinum selling pop rockers American Hi-Fi are back and have announced plans to release Blood & Lemonade, their first album in four years, this September via Rude Records.

"Golden State" is the second single to come from the album and closely follows the previous single "Allison." 

Singer Stacey Jones says, “'Golden State' is a song about starting over. It's about learning from your past and using that information to forge a new path, a more enlightened perspective. It's knowing that everything we do and experience, even the moments that seem tough, can ultimately lead us to a better place."

Perhaps best known for the hits "Flavor Of The Weak," "Another Perfect Day" and "The Art Of Losing," Blood & Lemonade" is American Hi-Fi’s fifth full length and their first since 2010’s Fight the Frequency.

The Drums' third full-length, Encyclopedia, is due out in the U.S. on Sept. 23.

Singer Jonny Pierce said recently, "not since the 'Summertime' EP has it been just Jacob (Graham) and I left up to our own devices. Now that we're back to just the two founding members, we figured we could do whatever we wanted and run with it."

"Together, we had just one goal: let go of any preconceived ideas that anyone has about The Drums and make songs to be as grand and majestic as we want them to be."

"'Encyclopedia' is full of magic and surprise while maintaining a serious, more weighty tone throughout," continued Pierce. "We were feeling very angry, confused, and alone when we made this album; and we wanted to be very honest this time around, even if being honest meant making some people uncomfortable. We've left the beach for higher ground, always searching for hope."

New single "Magic Mountain" is a sparkling reflection of our last three years," said Pierce. "It's about shedding off what binds you and protecting what's good, finding a safe place away from everyone and everything that wants to destroy you."

The alt-pop band formed in Brooklyn in 2009.

Tour Dates:

15-Sep Philadelphia, PA First Unitarian Church
16-Sep Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
17-Sep Washington, DC 9:30
20-Sep New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
22-Sep Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
24-Sep Montreal, QC Cabaret Mile-End
25-Sep Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall
27-Sep Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
29-Sep Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
1-Oct Denver, CO Gothic Theatre
2-Oct Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
3-Oct Sacramento, CA TBD FESTIVAL
5-Oct Los Angeles, CA Mayan Theatre
6-Oct San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
8-Oct Portland, OR Portland Star
9-Oct Seattle, WA Neumo's
10-Oct Vancouver, BC Fortune

Track list:

"Magic Mountain"
"I Can't Pretend"
"I Hope Times Doesn't Change Him"
"Kiss Me Again"
"Let Me"
"Break My Heart"
"Face Of God"
"U.S. National Park"
"Deep In My Heart"
"Bell Laboratories"
"There Is Nothing Left"
"Wild Geese"

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' entire career-spanning catalog is now available "Mastered for iTunes," this ensures that the music is delivered to listeners with increased audio fidelity that more closely replicates what the artists, recording engineers and producers intended:

The band's next release, Hypnotic Eye, will be released on July 29. If you purchase Hypnotic Eye on iTunes, including as a pre-order, you will receive the entire album Mastered for iTunes on the July 29 release date.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers begin a North American tour with Steve Winwood in San Diego, CA on Aug. 3. Tour dates include headlining shows at San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival and Virginia's Lockn' Festival, plus the band's first-ever show at Boston's Fenway Park. Every ticket includes the new album Hypnotic Eye.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers albums available “Mastered For iTunes” include:

• Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
• You're Gonna Get It!
• Damn the Torpedoes
• Hard Promises
• Long After Dark
• Southern Accents
• Pack Up The Plantation! (Live)
• Let Me Up (I've Had Enough)
• Full Moon Fever (Tom Petty)
• Into The Great Wide Open
• Greatest Hits
• Wildflowers (Tom Petty)
• (Songs and Music from) She's the One
• Echo
• The Last DJ
• Highway Companion
• The Live Anthology
• Mojo
• Hypnotic Eye
Longtime Southern California punk band Pennywise has released its 11th studio album, Yesterdays on Epitaph Records. Jim Lindberg is back as the front man, and Yesterdays includes songs written by original bassist Jason Thirsk, who passed away in 1996.

In celebration of the release, Pennywise will play several record release shows in Southern California, including July 20 at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Additionally, Pennywise will be on the Summer Nationals tour with The Offspring and Bad Religion July 29 – August 31 with a festival appearance at Aftershock on September 14.

There have been two major changes in the Pennywise story since their last release, All or Nothing (2012). First, front man Jim Lindberg has rejoined the band since leaving in 2009. And second, several songs featured on Yesterdays were written by deceased bass player, Jason Thirsk and have been properly recorded in the studio for the first time.

"We always wanted to go back and record these songs because later in our career we started to get more political and angry— that may have turned some people off but that's what we were feeling at the time," Lindberg explains. "In the back of our minds we knew we had these cool, old songs that were more life-affirming, it just took us 25 years to get back to it."
VIDEO "Violence Never Ending"

Pennywise Tour Dates

7/20/14 Los Angeles, CA – House of Blues (Pennywise Record Release)
7/29/14  Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
7/30/14  Baltimore, MD - Pier Six Pavilion
8/1/14  Asbury Park, NJ - The Stone Pony Summer Stage
8/2/14  Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
8/4/14  New York, NY - Terminal 5
8/5/14  New York, NY - Terminal 5
8/7/14  Toronto, ON - TD Echo Beach
8/8/14  Burlington, VT - Waterfront Park - Lake Champlain Maritime Fest
8/9/14  Montreal, Heavy MTL Festival
8/11/14  Boston, MA - House Of Blues
8/14/14  Tampa, FL - MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
8/15/14  West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheatre
8/16/14  Cape Canaveral, FL - Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral
8/19/14  St. Augustine, FL - Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
8/20/14  Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade Music Park
8/22/14  Oklahoma City, OK - Downtown Airpark
8/24/14  Englewood, CO - Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
8/26/14  Magna, UT - The Great Saltair
8/27/14  Las Vegas, NV - The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
8/29/14  Mesa, AZ - Mesa Amphitheatre
8/30/14  Chula Vista, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
8/31/14  Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre Grounds
9/14/14  Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival

7/29 through 8/31: Summer Nationals tour with The Offspring, Bad Religion, Stiff Little Fingers and The Vandals.

God Help The Girl is a musical feature film, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of the group Belle and Sebastian.

The soundtrack has been announced for a Sept. 2 release date on Milan Records, while the film will be released theatrically and On Demand on Sept. 5 from Amplify. (In the UK, the film is being released Aug. 16 via Metrodome, with the soundtrack to follow on Aug. 18).

There are three new songs by Murdoch sung by the cast: "Pretty When the Wind Blows," "I Dumped You First" and "I'm Not Rich." All of the other songs have been re-recorded and/or remixed with performances by the cast, with the exception of "Dress Up In You," from Belle & Sebastian's The Life Pursuit.

Half of the songs were recorded live during the making of the movie with different musicians than the originals. Dialogue and score interspersed throughout the soundtrack, all intended to create an impressionistic audio version of the film.

Murdoch aspired to tell the story of “a better summer, or at least a summer when something happened. It happened to a boy and a girl and a girl in a city roughly the same size and population of Glasgow. Perhaps the canals were a bit grimier, the high-rise buildings taller, the streets emptier when you needed them to be, and the beat clubs busier than the ones around here. But on the whole the city was this one.”

The music takes center stage and many songs resemble in their musical aspect the other work of Stuart Murdoch and Belle and Sebastian. The film was shot, edited, scored and mixed in Glasgow.

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